A bucket of water, a birdbath, puddles, clogged gutters, old tires. These are just a few examples of mosquito breeding grounds.

Do these water sources exist at your worksite? If so, your employees are at greater risk not only for mosquito bites, but also for the serious diseases these parasites can transmit, such as West Nile Virus.

As an employer, you want a safe and efficient workplace. You and your employees can take specific steps to help minimize the risk of mosquito bites and mosquito-borne illnesses.

What your employees need to know

Discuss with your employees how they can protect themselves:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks whenever possible.
  • Spray or apply repellant according to the label directions.
  • Treat clothing with repellents containing permethrin according to label directions or buy pre-treated items (do not apply permethrin to skin).

Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so when possible encourage your employees to work indoors at those times and perform outdoor work when the insects are less active.

How you and your employees can eliminate mosquito breeding grounds

Regularly inspect your workplace and get rid of breeding grounds. Since your employees are out in the field every day, they can be a valuable resource too. Train them on what to look for and the steps they need to take to minimize the risk of mosquito bites.

Remember, if it holds standing water, mosquitoes can breed in it.

  • Identify and fix leaking hoses, buckets, or anything else that holds water.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters.
  • Turn over, cover, or remove equipment that can accumulate water.
  • Drill holes into outdoor containers and plant saucers, stopping them from accumulating water.
  • Keep fountains, pools, and ponds properly treated and circulating.
  • Plant mosquito repelling flowers and herbs.
  • At your discretion, install mosquito traps or use foggers.
  • Add mosquito fish to permanent water sources.

At your safety meeting

Have a conversation with your employees about the actions you want them to take:

  • Let them know where you keep the insect repellant.
  • Take time during the meeting to walk the grounds. Together with your employees, identify areas of standing water (i.e. puddles, birdbaths, plant saucers, buckets).
  • Discuss challenges in eradicating different breeding grounds.
  • Discuss challenges to wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially in hot weather.
  • Seek employees’ input on the tools they need to help you keep your land mosquito-free.
  • If you plan to use mosquito traps or foggers, train your employees on how these work. Follow all label instructions.

These steps can provide a more comfortable workplace for your employees, and may also result in greater productivity.

You can contact your local mosquito and vector control district for more information on mosquito bite prevention.

 

Resources

California’s West Nile Virus Website
OSHA: Workplace Precautions Against West Nile Virus
CDC Information Flyer on Mosquito Bite Prevention
CDC Information on how to protect your family

The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for medical advice or legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations, or standards.